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Garadget review: Garadget adds voice control and simple smarts to your garage

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The Good The Garadget adds voice control and remote access to your existing garage door.

The Bad The Amazon Alexa skill proved difficult to initiate, many features require IFTTT and the Garadget doesn’t include scheduling.

The Bottom Line If you’re just looking for simple voice command and remote access capability, the Garadget will get the job done for less than $100.

6.3 Overall
  • Features 7
  • Usability 6
  • Design 6
  • Performance 6

Garage door automation, when done well, can certainly make life easier. Connected garage doors keep you from more wondering if you closed the garage door when you left for work or if you remembered to shut it when you came home. The Garadget is an $89 smart controller that adds simple smarts like remote access and voice control to your existing garage door opener. As much as those features are handy, if you're looking for more advanced things like full geofencing, a live video feed and scheduling, look elsewhere

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Garadget attaches to the bottom of your garage door opener. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Installing the Garadget is simple. With about 15 minutes and a screwdriver, you can get everything up and running. Before attaching the Garadget to your garage door opener, you'll need to pair it to your Wi-Fi network using the Garadget app for iOS and Android devices. Create an account within the app and temporarily link the Garadget to the Wi-Fi signal it produces in order to connect it to the 2.4GHz network you actually want to use. Be sure your garage gets a strong Wi-Fi signal. 

The Garadget device adheres to your existing garage door opener with an adhesive strip provided with your purchase. The Garadget comes with a USB power cable as well as a two-wire cable for connecting the Garadget to your opener. Plug in the power cord to an outlet near your garage door opener and connect the two-wire cable to the nodes on your opener that control opening and closing commands. The Garadget, and other devices like it, often don't specify which wires go where, since it varies by opener model. For this reason, you may need to refer to your opener's manual. 

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Garadget uses a cable with two wires to attach to your existing garage door opener for open and close commands. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Once you've connected the wires, a reflective, circular tag adheres to the top panel of your garage door to pick up the Garadget's laser sensor, which tells the connector if the door is open, closed or somewhere in between. Using the app and voice commands successfully really hinges (pun intended) on placing that reflective tag correctly on the top panel of your door. Before I added the tag and centered the laser on it, I received several false notifications and alerts that the door was open or closed when it wasn't. Once I added the reflective piece, it was much more accurate.

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